/ Modified oct 4, 2022 9:16 p.m.

ASU study finds that 1 in 4 Arizona suicides involved intimate partner problems

Data was collected over five years through law enforcement reports, medical examiner reports and death certificates.

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27% of Arizonans that die by suicide have reported intimate partner problems, according to a new Arizona Violent Death Reporting System’s Suicide Summary Report.

Dr. Charles Katz, the director of the Center for Violence Prevention & Community Safety, reported that cases of intimate partner violence ranged from emotional and verbal abuse to physical abuse.

“It can also be somebody that you've had a former relationship with, stalking, somebody who continues to harass you, even though that you've broken up or it can be somebody that you divorced, and they continue to cause problems in your life,” Dr. Katz said.

Death certificates, medical examiner reports, and law enforcement reports between 2015 and 2020 were used to determine the data set. From there, medical examiners and law enforcement determined if the victim experienced intimate partner violence.

The study also found that:

  • 68.5% of victims had at least one substance in their system
  • 3 out of 5 victims had a known history of suicidal thoughts, attempts or had disclosed their intent to commit suicide to someone
  • 58.9% of deaths used a firearm

Rates of suicide also significantly increased when looking at ages 75 or older in comparison to other age groups.

“If you're 75, and older, some of your friends have passed away and your spouse may have passed away,” Dr. Katz said. “There can be a whole host of reasons why you don't have the kind of support that you might need and then you decide to commit suicide.”

The federal government opened a new Suicide and Crisis Lifeline hotline. If you or someone you know is facing thoughts of suicide, call 988, the suicide hotline.

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